This is often heard in American society. I doubt if you will hear such a dumb comment in any other society on Earth because American society is probably one of the most viciously anti-intellectual cultures on Earth.
Now if you want to use such a statement as a warning to be extremely careful how you discuss IQ and in particular your own score assuming you know it, I agree that this is good advice. American society has a severe hangup about human intelligence, and this is shown by the rage and contempt with which discussions of IQ often arouse. Because after all, discussions of IQ are simply discussions of intelligence. If you hate IQ talk, then you hate discussing human intelligence. I would ask these people, “Why do you hate human intelligence so much? Is it because you are stupid? If you are not an idiot, then why hate human intelligence? Does that attitude even make sense?”
You can talk about IQ and even your own score in US society, but you need to be very careful about it. A lot of times it will go over well if you are cautious enough, but if not, you are guilty of committing a major social error in US society. And why be a social retard? A lot of us are screwed up enough that way. No need to pile it on and make matters worse.
Talented people are always interesting. There are plenty of fine athletes in high school and college who decided not to go into sports. They were still great athletes with excellent talent. There are people who can draw very well but don’t feel like using it. Likewise with music, writing, all sorts of things. All of this is interesting. I would love to hear about someone who had great artistic or musical talent who just decided they did not want to go that way and didn’t explore their talent. To me they would still be a very interesting person, and indeed, I have known a number of folks like this.
Talent is laudatory whether it is “used” or not, and the whole concept of “using” your talent leaves a nasty capitalist taste in my mouth. It’s all about the money, isn’t it, greedheads?
There are many very goodlooking people who never went into acting or modeling. Do we pummel them over the head with this for not “using” their good looks? Of course not. No one has to use their natural gifts in any particular way, and it’s no crime to be the handsomest man on Earth who never did anything with it but use it to get women.
Due to our hatred of intelligence and intellectuals, it is only intelligence that is attacked as “worthless unless you do something with it.” No other talent is attacked this way. People who talk like this are showing how much hatred they feel towards human intelligence in general and intelligent people, especially highly intelligent ones, in particular.
High IQ people use their talent every day by necessity. They never give it up like lapsed athletes, artists, writers, etc. These people are very interesting to meet. High IQ people are fascinating whether they are “using” their talent or not. And what does “using it” mean anyway? Making a pile of money off of it. Not everyone is so mercenary!
My mother has a 150 IQ, yet she never “did anything with it.” So what! Why did she have to? She’s one of the smartest women I’ve ever met. Are we that greedy and mercenary that all talents must be converted into sleazy dollar bills?
Natural talents are interesting and praiseworthy no matter what use they are put to.